What is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric oxide, or NO, is a naturally occurring compound found in our bodies and is responsible for the widening of blood vessels to help promote blood flow. Insulin and human growth hormone, or HGH, are also released when triggered by nitric oxide.
How do Nitric Oxide Supplements Work?
Nitric oxide supplements don’t actually contain nitric oxide itself. Rather, they provide the body with amino acids, primarily L-arginine, which could increase the body’s production of nitric oxide.
Ever since nitric oxide supplements became available for purchase, more research into the effectiveness of L-arginine and antioxidants such as Pine Bark Extract has been conducted. While there are some areas where nitric oxide supplements don’t have an impact, there are five important aspects of your life that could benefit from increased NO production.
5 Ways Nitric Oxide Supplements Boost Health and Performance
A quick sidebar, nitric oxide is NOT nitrous oxide aka the laughing gas that you get at the dentist before having a tooth pulled. Nitric oxide is NO and nitrous oxide is N2O so if you’re going to ask your doctor about taking nitric oxide supplements, make sure you use the right term.
While you don’t need approval from your doctor to take NO supplements, those with low blood pressure should check first as heightened NO levels can make matters worse.
If you don’t suffer from low blood pressure then you’ll have no side effects when taking NO supplements when following the suggested dosage meaning you could reap the benefits with no worries.
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1. Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Since nitric oxide supplements help to create more NO and widen blood vessels, it makes sense that our most valuable organ can see great results from taking them.
Erectile dysfunction, commonly referred to as ED, can be caused by high blood pressure or poor circulation of blood leaving you with a penis that isn’t ready to pump. Nitric oxide supplements promote that blood flow and can help in cases of mild to moderate ED.
NoNot only does it increase blood flow but NO helps to relax the muscles for maximum growth once the blood starts engorging the penis. With the combination of L-ARGININE and Pine Bark Extract, studies have shown that they work together in stimulating Nitric Oxide synthase, thus producing massive amounts of bioactive Nitric Oxide.
L-arginine also plays a role in helping fight the symptoms of ED, lending even more evidence towards nitric oxide supplements and their effectiveness for treating erectile dysfunction.
Before you go end your Viagra prescription, you should first think about how severe your ED is as prescription medications are still the most effective option for moderate to severe ED.
That being said, NO supplements when combined with ED medications can have an additive effect and make the prescription even more effective while still being safe to consume together.
2. May Help You Last Longer In Bed
When you’re having trouble lasting long enough in bed it’s typically due to either a form of ED or premature ejaculation. The former can cause trouble in maintaining erections and the latter simply gets to the punchline too quickly.
Nitric oxide supplements can help in this department in much the same way as it can for ED. The relaxation of the muscles both helps create and maintain erections by allowing for better blood flow.
When you’re able to relax and enjoy the fun without worrying about under or overperforming, you’ll notice the show can go on and may even include an encore later on. This is especially true if your NO supplement also includes pine bark extract which further enhances effectiveness.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure occurs when the blood flowing through the arteries and veins has too much force behind it and pushes the walls of your vascular system far too hard. The excess strain this puts on the body can result in heart or kidney disease in the long-term.
Nitric oxide supplements contain the compounds needed, mainly L-arginine, to allow the body better utilization of the naturally-produced NO. Individuals with high blood pressure can have difficulty using NO even if it’s present in the body.
Improving blood flow and relaxing the muscles to widen blood vessels can help reduce blood pressure and eliminate it as a contributing factor to the diseases mentioned above.
4. Boost Exercise Performance
The importance of nitric oxide in our bodies can’t be stressed enough. When it’s used by our body to widen blood vessels, a process formally known as vasodilation, it opens up the vascular highway for delivery of vital nutrients and oxygen to our muscles.
During a workout, the central nervous system is able to target working muscles and focus the oxygen and nutrients to those regions. What this means for your workout is that your muscles will have much more fuel and support to achieve new levels of performance.
Providing such a big boost to exercise performance, nitric oxide supplements have been popping up in fitness shops at a rapid pace. If you find yourself browsing around your local vitamin shop and see NO supplements, make sure they aren’t packed with unnecessary ingredients.
Nitric oxide supplements should primarily focus on ingredients that boost NO levels in the body which include nitrate, L-arginine and L-citrulline. Other natural ingredients that increase energy and endurance often make for fantastic secondary ingredients. These could be:
- Maca Root
- Avena Sativa (Oat Straw)
- Panax Ginseng
Some or all of these natural ingredients are found in popular nitric oxide supplements for exercise as they can increase energy and testosterone levels while also promoting faster muscle recovery.
Striking a balance between the primary amino acid ingredient and the secondary supporters is key to getting the most out of a nitric oxide supplement. L-arginine itself helps more in the regulation of blood flow than its partner L-citrulline as the former is metabolized much quicker.
Then the energy-boosting and testosterone-improving ingredients step in to give you the strength needed to maximize the new limit of gains afforded to you by the total package of your NO supplement.
Even if you aren’t currently working out or have just started out with casual exercise, nitric oxide supplements can still be of great use. Research has found that taking NO supplements can actually increase our tolerance for exercise. Being able to not be drop-dead exhausted after a workout is a great motivator to get back at it.
5. May Help Type 2 Diabetes
Much like how high blood pressure is linked to the body not utilizing NO, type 2 diabetes can create a lack of production of the compound which leads to a case where our body isn’t getting what it needs.
The presence of type 2 diabetes often leads to high blood pressure due to this lack of NO, again increasing the risk of heart and kidney disease. To combat both lack of production and utilization, medical professionals are seeing the implications that nitric oxide could be a practical approach.
Reducing symptoms caused by two chronic conditions with one supplement is often the goal when it comes to vitamins and even prescription medication. Just think back to the last time you had a prescription. Chances are your doctor said something along the lines of “This is typically used for X but it also treats Y and Z”?
The Final Word On Nitric Oxide Supplements
So there we have it, the wonderful world of nitric oxide supplements! In all seriousness, the health benefits for both the mind and body that come with increased NO levels are still being reviewed to truly unwind which individuals can get the most out of them.
While the jury is still out for some uses, the areas we discussed today have been proven through studies and you can start taking advantage of nitric oxide supplements.
If you ever have concerns about starting a new supplement routine, find time to talk with your doctor. Otherwise you can rest easy knowing there are no side effects so satisfying that curiosity can be done safely.